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Date: 17/11/07

Techno Tribulations

Technology is like clockwork. Like clockwork, it occasionally goes "Cuckoo!"

Take my new PC. I noticed on Wednesday night that the floppy drive wasn't working. I e-mailed the firm which built it for me. "The power connectors have probably come loose", was the reply.

I had no intention of taking the tower unit back in again, so I open the case up myself. The connector didn't seem to be loose, but just in case, I waggled it a bit and pushed it. I booted up again and there it was.

Then on Friday night, I found that the DVD-ROM drive wasn't working. So it was off with the top of the case again. I can only blame myself for this one: it seems that while I was trying to trace the floppy drive's power cable, I'd pulled the DVD-ROM drive's data cable out. Again, an easy fix.

What has really driven yer Judge potty this week, however, was trying to create a home network between the new PC and my doughty old Windows 98 box. I did everything according to the instructions, and eventually got the XP machine to access the shared folders on the 98 one.

But do you think I could get the old PC to access the share on the new one? Uh-uh. Nothing I did seemed to work. I uninstalled and reinstalled Dial Up Networking at least twice; I gave the machine more protocols than the Elders of Zion; I uninstalled and reinstalled the PCI Ethernet card. Nada, nowt, zilch, bugger all. It wouldn't even ping the XP box. This indicated that the problem may have been with the firewall.

As many of you will know, Windows XP comes with its own firewall. This is, by and large, as much use as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest and, as the router has a built in firewall anyway, I disabled the XP one. Still no joy. I checked the configuration of the router firewall as well, but nothing that I changed seemed to make any difference to the problem.

Then, earlier this evening, five days into the curseathon that the process had become, I was reading through some possible solutions to the problem that I'd tracked down online. Someone mentioned that they had a well-known brand of internet security software on their machine, and that they hadn't realised that this contained a firewall.

This gave me cause for thought. You see, the XP machine came with another well-known program on it (a one-month trial 'evaluation' version), which I had thought was only an anti-virus program. I opened it and found that, yes indeed, it too had a firewall program with it. The firewall was enabled. I disabled it and went over to the 98 rig on the other side of the room. It could now ping and XP machine and access the shared folders. Problem solved!

I could have done without the wasted time and the aggravation, though. An arrow to click on to take you to a follow-up item